Latin America & The Vatican by DANTZIE


									The   University of Chicago
TIN AMERICA              AND


No. 42               6

THE               Press Association consists of
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      LATIN AMERICA                 AND THE

                            By           *\

                AVRO MANHATTAN

J      (            WATTS &       CO.,
                                    First published 19K,
                     THE THJNKER'S FORUM                                                 3
           Nos.    2, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18. 19, 20,   and 29 are out of print.

     1.   THE GOD OF WAR                        By Joseph McCabe
                                            By E. W. F. Tomlin
    4.    SCIENCE: CURSE OR BLESSING?           By Prof. H. Levy


    5.    MAKE YOUR OWN RELIGION      By A. Gowans Whyte, B.Sc.
     6.   A YOUNG MAN'S MORALS                By Henry LI. Cribb
    7.    WHY BE MORAL?                        By Hector Hawton
     8.   THE GIDDY GOD OF LUCK                      By Protonius
     9.   THE ART OF ASTROLOGY                         By Gemini
   10.    PRIEST OR PHYSICIAN?                 By George Godwin
    14.   THE NAZI ATTACK ON INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE                                                   .

                                                By Joseph Needham,        Sc.D., F.R.S.
   21.    B.B.C.   RELIGION                                                  By   Clericus

   22.    THE RIDDLE OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND A NEW                                                            !

          SOLUTION                                  By Adam Gowans Whyte, B.Sc.
   23.    JAPAN'S NEW ORDER                                   By George Godwin                                   :

   24.    WILL RELIGION SURVIVE?              By Hector Hawton
   25.    THE NEW ORTHODOXY By F. H. Amphlett Micklewright, M.A.
   26.    THE PAPACY IN FRANCE                By Joseph McCabe
   27.    THE CHURCH AND EDUCATION           By J. M. Robertson
                                                                By Archibald Robertson
   30.    RELIGION AND THE RIGHTS OF MAN   By Joseph McCabe
   31.    CHINESE IDEALS OF LIFE              By Lin Yutang
                                                                     By. R. C. Churchill
    33.   RATIONALISM AND CULTURE By F: H. Amphlett Micklewright
                                                   By F. H. Amphlett Micklewright                                    '

    5. ART AND CHRISTIANITY                                     By R. C. Churchill
                                                               By   Archibald Robertson                                  '

   37.    RATIONALISM                     By J. M. Robertson                                                             ;

   38.    RELIGION AS AN OBJECTIVE, PROBLEM By Julian Huxley                                                             '

                                                        By A. Gowans Whyte, B.Sc.
   40.    SPAIN AND THE VATICAN                                 By Avro Manhattan                            -                   ,

   41.    THE VATICAN AND THE U.S.A.                                By Avro Manhattan


   42.    LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                             By Avro Manhattan

Printed -.and Published in Great Britain for the Rationalist Press Associate
Limited .by C. A. Watts & Co. Limited, 5 & 6 Johnson's Court, Fleet Streei
           \               London, E.C.4, England
                                           1552301           QKA,l
                          AMERICA AND THE VATICAN
     jU L
                        twenty countries constituting Central
               total area of the
                 America, now commonly labelled Latin
^'America, is about 8,500,000 square miles. From the
fl^ northern boundary of Mexico to the southern extremity of
|f        Chile   is   a^distancepf   some 7,000      miles almost-as far as from
ppL^Condon to Capetown.                        Some    idea of the immensity of
HT-- this      sub-contlhentr will be gained if it is borne in mind
fp      that Mexico is about one-third the size of the U.S.A.,
                                       is roughly equal in area to the
|r -arid that Brazil's territory
IT whole of the United\States and
                                           Alaska. This sub-continent
fe ^has a population of only 130,000,000, or 15 per square mile.

 |?r    Brazil, -with 45,000,000 people on its immense territory,
        has the largest population of these- twenty countries, the
fei     other four most populous being Mexico with 23,000,000,
I? "Argentina with 13,000,000, Columbia with 9,000,000, and
        Peru with 8,000,000.        The U.S.A;, with an area of
        3,022,387 square miles, has a population of 134,000,000, or
        43, per, square mile, while Europe, area 3,875,000 square
        miles, has a population of 465,000,000, a density of 120

        per square mile. Thus Latin America, with an area greater
        than that of the U.S.A. and Europe together, has less than
        a quarter of thei^xombined populations.                      <

            When one considers what a source of unrest over-
        crowding has been and still is in Europe and in certain
        p_arts of Asia, and what a powerful contribution it has
        made to the causes of two world wars, as well as to social,
        political, and economfc upheavals, one cannot, help thipk-
     ( ing
              of this thinly inhabited subrcontinent as a possible
       ^silety .valve for the over-populated areas of the world,
        especially when it is remembered that the world's
        population is increasing at a rate of about 180,000,000 every
        fen years.                                       _    :
            But, JnT  addition to its great size and relatively small
        population, JLatin America, with a variety of climates and
       geographical conditions, is habitable by people of alj races,
       .|Jie greater part of the region not being inimical          to

Europeans and other white^ peoples.         It   would seem,
therefore, a region ideally suited to receive ,and absorb some
of the millions living in overcrowded and impoverished
countries.   Furthermore, unlike its northern counterpart,
it is peculiarly lacking in race prejudice.       It has never
erected serious barriers between the various races, whose
intermingling, with      rare exceptions,      it  has always

                 ITS   ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE
   Besides    the above-mentioned characteristics Latin
America has also distinct economic advantages which point
to its coming importance and suggest that it will have more
and more influence on world affairs. Within its boundaries
every kind, of product required by the modern world can
be found, from the most exotic types of fruit and plant
to the most essential cereals, from iron and lead to gold
and diamonds, as well as uranium and cognate metals
necessary for the release of atomic energy.        From an
economic point   of view Latin America is an enormously
wealthy world, right outside the orbit of a scarcity-stricken
Euro-Asiatic continent. Although its mineral riches are
being gradually exploited, it still depends largely on
agriculture.  It produces enormous quantities of food of
all kinds, including wheat, coffee, and beef, with which,
were the world planned in a more rational way, it could
feed hundreds of millions of people. .,,,>                 ^

    Thus food, relative emptiness, and great possibilities
of development are all to be found in Latin America. It
is  not surprising,, therefore, that it is regarded with
increasing interest by the great economic and political
Powers of the modern world, headed by its northern
neighbour, the U.S.A.

       THE- VATICAN'S INTEREST IN LATIN AMERICA                    \

   At this point the reader may well be inclined to ask
what these facts and figures have -to do with the Vatican.
The answer should supply some food for thought. For
not only has the Vatican a great deal to do with the
various economic, political, social, and racial factors of
Latin America, but from the very beginning it has exerted
                      LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                     5
                 "                                      '


       and continues to exert a more powerful influence than
    Ithat  of any other Power or combination of Powers,
    .including even the United States. The Catholic religion,
     in the- hands of a world-wide and highly experienced
    ^institution like the Church, can make use of geographical,
     economic, political, and social factors to promote its aims,
     and it is in this light that the size, the wealth, and the other
     factors which Latin America might contribute to world
     prosperity should be seen and studied. In a world shaken
     by two world wars, threatened by a third, and disturbed
     by recurrent economic, political, and social crises, whoever
    ;can. influence Latin America handles an increasingly
     powerful lever in the game of world politics.
        It is not a mere matter of chance, therefore, that to-day
     the United States and the Vatican, although in many
     respects so different from one another, are trying to make
     friends with Latin America.           Moreover, after mutual
     bargaining, they have come to a broad understanding by
     which that continent may become a mighty instrument for
     the use of both for the former in the economic, political,
     and military field, and for the latter in the religious and
        social spheres.
            How has the Vatican^ a spiritual institution, obtained
        such domination over Latin America that, to-day it is able
        to bargajn with the United States on an equal footingi
        and even to impose its own terms? And how has it come
        about that Washington and the Vatican two Powers with
        such' diverse natures, functions, and aims have now
        adopted a common policy towards Central and South
           That is what we   ,
                                 shall   now   try briefly to survey.

                          THE      SPANISH CONQUEST
          Thesecret of the Catholic Church's hold on Latin
*       America to-dayis to be found in various factors, the
    combination of which has made the Church such an
    inescapable force throughout these countries.
       First of all, religion and spiritual rule are still more
    powerful than the modern machinery of propaganda or the
    mechanized land, sea, or air forces of modern nations.
    Secondly, from the very beginning of modern history
Latin America has been so inextricably connected with the
Catholic Church that it is literally impossible to read s*J
single page of this history without coming across an
example of the overwhelming power of Catholicism.         '-

   Catholicism, in fact, is more deeply implanted there;
than the influence of Spain; for, apart from language and*
other legacies, Spanish rule is but a thing of. the past,      ,

whereas the dominion of the Catholic Church is as sub-

stantial as ever.                             -           r
    The   exploration and colonization of the American
continent were begun with the dual purpose of taking
Christianity to the heathen and finding gold for the Spanish
Crown two objectives which, paradoxically, went hand in
hand. They formed the basis on which State and Church
became intimate partners in moulding the newly-discovered
lands, and on which they co-operated for centuries.
    The Church became the chief partner of Spain at the
very beginning. When Columbus journeyed to the West
Indies for the second time (1493), with an expedition of
seventeen ships and 15,000 men, he had the permission of
the Pope to take possession of the new lands for Spain.
However, as disputes soon arose between Spain and
Portugal (the English, Dutch, and French had not yet
begun their colonial enterprise), the Pope solemnly divided
this unknown world between Spain, which was given the
right to possess everything west of .a meridian running
370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, and Portugal,
which was given everything east of this line. In return
both countries (fresh from the religious wars in Europe) saw
that wherever their soldiers went they were accompanied
by friars. The latter, besides administering baptism to the
natives, set out to establish missionary centres, and thus
implant Catholicism wherever the Spanish and Portuguese
colonists founded citadels, villages, towns, or provinces!

   Catholicism progressed with the advance and establish-
ment  of the Conquistadores, and not many_decades had
gone by before the Church had begun to organize itself iri-^
the New World on the European model. With the passing
of time archbishoprics were divided into bishoprics, and
                     LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                 7

  these in turn into parishes, which were put in the charge
 *bf priests or; more often, monks, nuns, friars, and members
  of;   regular Orders. Among the most distinguished for
 .their   zealwere the Franciscans, Capuchins, Dominicans,
 jjAugustinians,     and   Jesuits.
        The   initial alliance of State   and Church   in this enter-
  prise  gradually became consolidated; the Government
 came to be regarded as the natural protector of the Church,
 and the Church as the natural supporter ol-the Government
 and its .representatives, especially when either had to deal
 with rebellious Indians. This mutual friendship developed
 to such an extent that very often the Government furnished
 funds to start Missions; it did so in the knowledge that,
 once established, such Missions would become self-
 supporting, create new centres, and would give assistance
 of all kinds, sometimes even military, to the Government.
     As the power of the Government grew, the Church
 became increasingly dependent on it, so much so that at
 one time the Crown almost obtained control of the Church
 itself.  At the beginning of the sixteenth century the Popes
 gave the Spanish kings the right to collect, for religious
 purposes, Church revenues and tithes, including indul-
 gences, to appoint bishops, and virtually to manage the
 whole administration of the Church.

                            THE   INQUISITION
       From the roots struck by Catholicism in the Americas
   grew an embryonic American society moulded by both the
   beneficial and^the nefarious characteristics of the Church.
   On the one hand, the Church was practically the only
   bearer of education and the sole founder of schools and
   universities  on the other, it was the persecutor of free-

   thinking and the exchange of progressive ideas. It opposed
* any innovation, lest radicalism should injure the political
   and religious foundations of its new domain. It was thus
   that the Inquisition made its appearance in the New World.
 _ It was given power in Brazil in 1549, Peru in 1567, and

'Mexico in 1572, its first tribunal being established in Lima,
 ;Peru, in 1570.
     The Inquisition did not stop at            mere academic   con<-
demnation,    but     imprisoned,           or killed the
offenders. The first auto-da-fe burning of a victim took-
place in Lima in 1573, and the second in Mexico in 1574.
During the colonial period the Inquisition at Lima burned
fifty-nine victims.

   The Inquisition was established throughout the Spanish^'
Americas, not only in the towns, but also in provincial               ,

settlements in fact, wherever there were Jesuits, who were
the master-minds behind this powerful machine of

intellectual repression.
   It was not until the middle of the eighteenth century
that the Jesuits, owing to their excesses, lost favour both in
Europe and the Americas and, as a result, were ousted
by the most Catholic King of Portugal from his dominions.
At the time of their expulsion from the Portuguese colonies
2,200 Jesuits had the direct guardianship of over 700,000
Indians spread throughout the Americas,            The Pope
himself finally suppressed the Order in 1773.

             THE CHURCH'S ECONOMIC POWER                     -

    Meanwhile, the  power of the Church grew by leaps and
bounds.    The number of its ministers increased, its
administration grew vast in extent, and it became extremely
wealthy, with the result that individuals and groups of
citizens began, in spite of the Inquisition, to complain to
the colonial authorities and very often to the Metropolitan
Government itself. Typical of such complaints against the
Church was the petition, sent by the city government of
Mexico in 1664 to Philip IV, in which the citizens asked
for a suspension of ordination as there were already^ over
6,000 unemployed priests. At the same time they pointed
out that the Church was strangling the economic life of
the colony, as it already held at least half the total
property. In Peru, in 1778, Antonio de Ulloa complained
about the great number of convents, stating that in Lima *
alone there existed over forty of them. *
    However, the Church's stranglehold on the economic
and social life of the Americas continued, and by the
continuous acquisition of privately owned lands, usually^
tax-free, the Catholic Church controlled between one-third        ,

and one-half of all the wealth in America by 1800. -.
                               LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                  9

                .   .
                       CATHOLIC CONTROL OF EDUCATION
               While the Catholic Church was becoming the dominant                 '

            power in the economic, social, and indirectly even
            political   fields   of    the developing Spanish     Americas,   it
            -made even greater headway in the intellectual sphere,
            where it had the virtual monopoly of education and the
            shaping of men's minds.                                     *

               As already indicated, from the very beginning the
            Church opened schools to teach both the natives and the
            Europeans; in 1553, only twenty-one years after Pizarro
            had first invaded the country, the University of Lima was
            opened* while the University of Mexico, also founded in
    .       1553, had conferred over 30,000 Bachelor-of-Arts degrees by
            1775. By 1800, educational institutions which might be termed
            universities were distributed throughout the principal
                     of America, the largest being those of Lima,
            Chuquisaca, and Mexico, this last being the site of the
            greatest intellectual activity in America. The teachers, in
            the upper as well as the lower schools, colleges, and such
            like were- invariably Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, or
            other priests.
               However, the           fact that the   whole educational system
            was in the hands   of the Church and that education was
            reserved exclusively for the boys of the upper classes,

            meant that the men who had the most influence on
            American society were but the^ obedient creatures of the
            Catholic Church, which by this long-range policy went on
            ensuring its own rule from generation to generation,
            shaping minds, society, and, consequently, the whole
            structure of the American colonies according to its
            religious, social,    and    political doctrines.

                                      THE   PRINTING PRESS
               Nevertheless the Catholic Church, .despite its enormous
            power, was not able to keep out of Latin America all
            broadening influences, nor .to suppress all innovations
,           which might be used against orthodoxy.           One. such
            innovation was the printing press.
               In Mexico the first printing press was set up by
            Mendoza as early as 1535. ^ Although the number of
            printing presses remained ridiculously low (by 1800 those

in Central and South America numbering only about ten), J,
from the start both Church and Crown did all in' their --
power to discourage their appearance, even when they
themselves controlled them,                      ^

     Theprinting press, however, soon began its work of           *
enlightenment, and during the first half century of the
Qccupation books and pamphlets which did hot closely                      \\

conform to the orthodox rules of the time made their                   x

appearance. The number of books and pamphlets increased
only slowly, but by tfre eighteenth century they had become
a considerable force in determining the ideas of that section
of society which could read and write.       Then, with the
opening of the nineteenth century, papers and periodicals         "
began to be issued more and more regularly, making tfieir             .

way Irom California to Cape 'Horn and exerting an
increasing influence, more particularly in Mexico, Lima-,
Buenos     Aires, Bogota,and Quito.
     The more  progressive men those seeking new know-
ledge and rebelling against the dead weight of Church and
Crown came in touch with the intellectual currents of
Europe, especially of France, and consequently there were
political and social repercussions in the Americas.      The
ideas of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Raynal, and the
Encyclopedists, together with the new wind of independ-
ence from the North American colonies, prepared those             ^
men and assisted the growth of those ideas and forces, which
were finally to free Latin America from the political
domination of the European Powers.
    The Catholic Church, as in the past, tried to stop this
dissemination of ideas, first with the Inquisition and then
with the Index, and often with both; so that at the close
of the colonial era well over 5,500 authors had been placed           -

on the prohibited list, Catholics who read them being^so
facto condemned to eternal fires by the Church.

                                    -   -

                                            .:                ''--'$
   But the Church could not prevent the growth of the
Liberal and revolutionary spirit The idea that men are**
born free and equal and that power resides with the people
spread far and wide. Translations of the Anglo-American
Declaration of Independence and the Articles of the
                    LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN               11

     Confederation were distributed everywhere. In, 1794 a
    .^student in the University of Santa Fe de Bogota obtained
     a copy of the French Declaration of ihe Rights of Man,
     reprinted it in hundreds of copies, and, in spite of the
     Catholic Church's condemnations and fulmina.tions against
    'those who contaminated their minds with such poisonous
      ideas, the principles spread like wildfire. Finally they
     became one of the main incitements to starting the wars
     of independence, which lasted more or less from 1810 until
     1825.., The Latin American wars of independence lasted
     some two and a half times as long as those which liberated
     the North Americans, who achieved their independence a
     century and a half after their foundation, whereas the
     Spanish colonies did -not gain their freedom from
     European domination for three centuries. The movement
     for independence spread from    New  Mexico to Argentina
     and eventually 7,000,000 square miles were freed from
     domination^-an area nearly as large as the whole North
     American continent.
         From then onwards the economic, political, and social
     life of the new Latin American countries      developed,
     sometimes slowly, very often with .quick jerks and
     somersaults, while their populations grew with great
        The white  population, which, according to Humboldt,
     was about 200,000 in 1600, grew to 1,000,000 in 1700 and to
     over ,3,000,000 by 1800.  In the early nineteenth century
     (again according to Humboldt) the white population was
     3,500,000, and there were 7,500,000 aborigines and about
     750,000 negroes, mulattos, and offspring of negro-Indians,
     called   Zambos.
        In comparison the British colonies had, at the time
     of their revolt, about 2,500,000 whites, 500,000 negroes in
     the South, and very few Indians. A few decades later, the
     population of the U.S.A. had increased to about 5,000,000
     and that of Latin America to about 20,000,000; and in the
     following years the populations of both continents
     continued to swell until by the close of the nineteenth
     century the population of each approached the' 100,000,000

r    mark.
        The bulk of these millions came from Europe. In the
     case of Latin America almost all the immigrants came from

Spain, France, and Italy, this    last   country providing almost
half the total   number of registered immigrants to South,
America between    1857 and 1914.
   As these immigrants were almost wholly from Catholic
countries, Catholicism was more than able to hold its own,
even though the political ideas which had inspired the^
movements for independence had been liberal and
humanistic. Latin America continued to be permeated by
Catholic religious and ethical doctrines and influenced
deeply by the Church's notions of political and social
order, and it is this domination by Catholicism which has
so sharply divided Latin from North America.

    In spite of the great changes which had taken place in
the world, the twentieth century found the Church in Latin
America the power under whose influence all aspects of
life were to a great extent being continually moulded.  As
in the past, it was still the standard-bearer of reaction
and the foremost defender of the privileged class formed
by big landowners and the old aristocracy, who in turn
supported the Church whenever they had power to do so.
The Church and the privileged class shared a common
hatred of anything new, or of anybody with new ideas,'
new programmes, or new slogans. Whenever a man, rose
to ask that the Church should relax its grip on the
economic, social, and educational life of the nation, the
Church indicted him as anti-Christian and anti-Catholic.
Whenever a voice called for the breaking up of immense,;
unproductive estates, its owner was called a Nihilist or            .

a Bolshevik i.e., a criminal.     And whenever a man or
a group of men preached the combination of such ideas,
the Church came out with all its armoury to fight against
   It was thus that the Catholic Church boycotted all such
demands for reform as now prevailed both in democratic
and liberal North America and in Europe, and. did all
in its power to see that the Latin American structure of
society should remain static, fearing with reason that ifi
such i'deas were allowed to penetrate it might lose the
privileged position   it   enjoyed.
                        LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                13

    ^ But again, as in the eighteenth century, the Catholic
  Church could not prevent the reforming wind of fhe

  times from sweeping the continent, with the result that
  organized attacks on both the Church and- the status quo
y became ever more frequent; new Parties were created,
  went to the polls, formed Governments, and began to
  legislate more in conformity with the new times.     The
  first decades of the present century saw the triumph of
        Liberalism in several countries,, including Chile, followed
        By various kinds of Radicalism and even Socialism.
           In 1916, for the first time a Radical, Dr. Irigoyen, was
        elected to the Presidency in Argentina, while his Party
J       won  thirty^five out of the sixty renewed seats in .the House,
        which, then was made up of about two-fifths Radical, one-
    'fifth     Socialist,   and       two-fifths Conservative.

                             CATHOLICISM IN MEXICO
                                  "       '

           However, the Catholic Church never failed to stir up
        trouble whenever it was on the losing side, and it did this
        not only in the religious but also in the economic and
        political fields, in many instances not hesitating to resort
        to arms.     The most typical, the fiercest, and the most
        ruthless struggle it waged was that initiated against Mexico,
        during the last century; it drenched the country in blood
        in a desperate effort to impede reforms which aimed at
        putting the Church in its right place and at curtailing the
        enormous economic and social power it exerted there.
    .The                                                         '

                  first serious and successful offensive against the
        Church's "stranglehold was launched by a small band of
        intellectuals advocating Liberal ideas, recruited mainly
        from the professional middle-class. They were able to
        gain sufficient power in- Congress to enact in 1833-34 laws
        by whjch the Church was deprived of its monopoly of
* education. At the same time gross medieval privileges
 -which exempted the Church from all taxation were
           The Catholic Church and its allies, the Conservatives,
        took up arms against these measures, but after a bloody
        struggle, which lasted several months, they had to give in.
        From that date until almost the fourth decade of our

ceiitury, the Catholic  Church has carried on a series of               ...

civilwars against progressive forces in Mexico.
   Meanwhile,   reforms continued to be made. In 1855, by
the "Ley Juarez," the Government limited the juridicial
power of ecclesiastical and military courts. The following v
year Congress enacted the "Ley Lardo," which required
the Church to sell any estates not actually used for religious            ,

purposes to the persons renting or leasing them. These
reforms were followed by others, such as the. "Ley
Iglesias" of 1857, which compelled 'clergy to perform
services gratuitously for the poor.    Later on reforms
introducing manhood suffrage, freedom of speech, of
teaching, and of the Press, followed one another in quick
   In the Church's long struggle against such measures,
prieststook up arms and organized guerrilla bands bishops

incited the Mexican peoples to revolt; the Popes wrote
encyclicals; Catholic generals organized Catholic armies
  all in a vain attempt to stop the march of the times.
    The last desperate effort of the Catholic Church in
Mexico to put the clock back by resorting to violence was
that engineered in 1927, when a band of armed Catholics,'
led by priests, surprised and attacked a train, massacring
a    hundred men, women, and children.         That was the
beginning of the Calles dictatorship.      Until that time
President Calles had ruled democratically but, determined      .

to hit back at the Church, he now adopted dictatorial
methods. The Church organized Catholic partisans or
Cristeros, who conducted protracted guerrilla warfare
from the mountains, with the successes, reverses, and
atrocities (real or fictitious) which almost ten years later              -,

were to be repeated in Spain. They incited all Catholics
to revolt, to fight, and ev<en to murderin more than one
instance with success the political leaders of the Govern-
   That this last civil war, started and conducted by the-
Catholic Church, did not develop into an international -
one was due  chiefly to the Governments of Mexico and the
U.S.A.    Nevertheless the latter, under pressure from v           ,.

American Catholics in combination with such secular
forces as the big American oil concerns, at one time went
so far as to mobilize on the Mexican border practically
                         LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                       15

         the whole of its aircraft (April, 1927) under the pretext
     A of annual manoeuvres.*
          After several years of internal strife, the Church finally
       gave up its insurrectionary struggle, but not its open and
       hidden attempts to regain power attempts which it
     * resumed on a
                        grand scale when Roosevelt went to the
       White House. This bid to get the United States to
       intervene in the domestic life of Mexico, although backed
       by the oil and other industrial concerns, failed because of
       Roosevelt's conviction that if he followed such a plan his
         cherished "Good Neighbour" policy would be irredeem-
         ably doomed throughout Latin America.
             Realizing that the day of open revolts was past, the
         Vatican then resorted to another move the creation of a

         Catholic Fascist Movement by which it hoped to recover
         its position. This Movement received the blessing of the
         Papal Secretary of State, Pacelli, during and after his visit
         to Latin America and to President Roosevelt in 1936, as
         we shall see later.
             Although the part played by the Catholic Church in
         Mexico is well known it is by no means an isolated example
         of such interference.   The Church has worked similarly
         in almost every Latin American country at one time or
         another with varying success, but with the same goal in
         view :to prevent the progrejssive movements from dis-
         turbing its privileged position and from installing a
         Church-free society.
             So far we have seen the role played by the Catholic
         Church in the birth, growth, and direction of the internal
         life of Latin America.   But it is in the realm of foreign
         policy that the Church has had the greatest influence.
         The Vatican's power over Latin America in this field is
         most important for, by being able to influence the
         relationships between that continent and the rest of the
         world, it can affect the whole Western Hemisphere and
         consequently Europe- and the world at large.
             The Vatican, like the U.S.A., began to regard Latin

             *  The probability of the U.S.A. intervening in Mexico was so great
         that American war correspondents were advised to be in readiness at the
         frontier. (See G. Seldes.)

America     as a powerful factor in international affairs at
the beginning of this century, at a time when there were
already signs of unrest beneath a superficially ordered
world.     The outbreak of the first world war, having
released revolutionary forces in Europe and Asia., also
caused a great stir in half-forgotten Latin America. Hence-
forth it came into the world picture ever more prominently,
partly on account of its economic significance, but also
because it had become the policy of the United States to
enforce a monopoly to the exclusion of all non- American
Powers. And the term non-American Powers was intended
to include not only imperialistic Great Britain, France,
and Spain, but also religious-political Powers such as the
    When the U.S.A. declared war on Germany in 1917
President Wilson became eager to befriend the Latin
countries and to strengthen -- the Pan- American Union.
This step greatly alarmed the Vatican. Latin America,
unlike the U.S.A., had not previously voiced any definite
policy towards Europe. It was now feared that it might
be forced to echo the powerful Protestant U.S.A. At the
same time, it was realized that the Vatican was still in a
position to influence the policy of the United States thanks
to the influence it had in Catholic America. Because of
the great strategic and economic importance of those
countries it had, therefore, a trump card to play in the
world struggle between the Allies and the Central Powers.
    The Vatican was, however, placed in a dilemma by the
designs of the United States, on Latin America. If had to
decide whether it would be better to fight such an incursion
with all the means at its disposal or to come to terms with
the American Government.          This dilemma was solved
during and after the first world war, as we shall see in
the sequel.
    Before that period the Monroe doctrine had shown
every symptom of being officially sponsored, not so much
to keep out the European Powers, as to give the U.S.A.
itself the monopoly it desired in the South.    Such a policy
made both Latin America and the Vatican suspicious, for
it was becoming evident that the U.S.A. was bent on a

thorough domination of the whole American continent,
not only economic but also    territorial.
>                 LATIN AMERICA AND   THE VATICAN         17

    'That" this fear was, in fact, well founded was shown by
 past events, and a brief glance at the earlier expansion
     the ^United States would have confirmed the suspicions
 of Latin America and the Pope.
     At the very beginning the territory of the U.S.A. was
 confined to the lands east of the Mississippi and did not
 reach as far as the Gulf of Mexico. Soon vast areas claimed
 by Latin American countries were incorporated. In 1803
 the Louisiana Purchase was acquired, followed by the
 annexation of the Floridas and, later on, of Texas and all
 the west from the present Mexican frontier to Oregon. The
 latter was followed by negotiations for the acquisition of
 Cuba, and expeditions to Nicaragua. Before the Civil
 War Presidents Johnson and Grant tried to get hold of
 the Dominican Republic and the Danish Islands. After
'the Spanish-American war Puerto Rico was annexed, Cuba
 was bound by the Platt Amendment, and Panama revolted
 and became closely attached to the United States. Soon
 afterwards the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Haiti
 fell under its administrative guidance, while the Danish
 Islands were purchased. In the meantime Alaska, Hawaii,
 and the Philippines had been annexed.
      When one remembers that ma'ny highly placed
 American politicians vociferously called for further annex-
 ations of territory e.g., the Islands in the Caribbean, as
 well as part of the mainland to the west of this area it
 is easy to see that those who were anxious for the freedom
 of Latin America began to entertain a growing fear jabout
 its    ultimate fate.
        When finally the U.S.A. came into the first world war
  she exerted her influence to drag several Latin American
  countries in her wake, with the result that seven of these
  countries had soon declared war these being Panama,

  Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica,
  followed later by; the largest of all, Brazil. Five others
  severed relations with Germany Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru,
r Ecuador,
            and the Dominican Republic. All this was against
  the will of the Church, but the Vatican deemed it wise to
  follow the political current and come to terms with the
  United States on the question of its Latin American policy.

At   this   time the United States began to pursue in earnest
a policy     which became known as Pan- Americanism.          ^

    Pan-Americanism became a concrete, fact, more
especially  in the economic field, when- Latin America
turned towards the United States during and after the first
world war. An example of the growth of United States
financial and economic influence is to be found in the
fact that there was only one U.S. bank in^Latin America
at the beginning of the war, but by 1921 there were fifty.
There was a corresponding development of trade in 1913

the value of exchanges between the United States and
Latin America was $743,000,000, but by 1919 it had
increased to $3,000,000,000. This intermingling of American-
interests also went on in other fields   for instance in that

of Labour when, in 1918, a Pan-American Federation of
Labour was created.
    This new Pan-Americanism which was later to change
into the Good Neighbour policy was initiated when
Coolidge sent Dwight Morrow to Mexico in 1927. Con-
tinued under Hoover, it was given a new impetus at
Montevideo in 1933 when Mr. Cordell Hull promised the
extension of the New Deal to other American countries..
It received further confirmation in 1936 when the U.S.A.
subscribed to a ban on intervention by one State in the
affairs of another "directly or indirectly and for whatever
reason" ; at Lima when, in 1938, all the American countries
gave a solemn pledge of their inviolable solidarity; at
Panama in 1939 and at Havana in 1940.

   Thus Pan-Americanism, originally regarded by the
Latin American countries as a U.S. trade slogan, finally
became the cornerstone of Roosevelt's policy.

   The Vatican, resolved upon the policy it would pursue
towards inter- American relations, now determined ta reach *
an understanding with -Roosevelt.       Its most valuable
bargaining weapon was the influence it held on the Latin              .

American countries themselves, and the significance of this
              LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                    19

influence had increased with the entry of the League of
Nations into world affairs.
   The foundation of the League, towards which the
Vatican adopted a rather hostile attitude, was welcomed
by many countries, not only as a safeguard against future
wars,Jbut also as a guarantee of the national independence
and ^ntegrity of the small countries anxious about the
ambitions of the big ones. Partly for these reasons and
partly as a result of a genuine idealism, the Latin American
countries were quick to hail the birth of the League, and
in spite of America's absence, or perhaps because of it,
they joined en masse seventeen out of the twenty being
members from the very beginning.
   With the passing of time, the Vatican, although
resentful of their participation in the League, gradually
changed its attitude and finally came to regard their
presence in the international organization as extremely
useful.   One reason for this change of attitude was the
value of the votes of the Latin American countries.
   The League     of Nations, unlike     its   successor, U.N.O.,
was run,   at least superficially, in   such a    way that major
decisions were voted on by all members, big or small, on
democratic principles. Thus the votes of seventeen or
eighteen minor countries were a great and sometimes a
decisive factor which could not be disregarded. Whoever
could influence these votes whether a member of the
League or not acquired a great weight in international
politics, and could thus sway issues of great importance,
affecting national and international relations.
    The Vatican was quick to realize that, by exerting its
influence on the Latin American nations who were
members of the League, it could perhaps direct the course
of international politics to fit in with its own plans, and
that, although outside the League, it could enhance its
status as a major political power with which all nations,
small or big, would have to reckon.
    It soon became evident that the Vatican's influence in
the League, although invisible, was nevertheless very
powerful, and that whenever major issues were involved
the "imponderable" vote of the Vatican was always a factor
which could affect vital decisions.

    This gradually became more evident when the League

was confronted with problems either relating to Catholic
countries or to countries pursuing anti-Catholic policies;
or whenever a nation, or even the policy of the League
itself, crossed the path of the Vatican.
   The seriousness of the Vatican's interference through;
the votes of Catholic countries, especially Latin America,
was made even graver by the fact that the League. and the
Vatican were institutions with world-wide power. This
indirect interference of the Vatican in world politics in the
period between the two world wars took many forms and
affected  many issues of a national and international
character, both in the Americas and_ in Europe.
   To mention only a few typical examples:
   (1) When the Soviet Union asked to be admitted to the
League, the strongest opposition came from Catholic
individuals and Catholic countries, the Catholic delegate
from Switzerland being the most violent opponent, while
the Latin American countries voted en masse against the
    (2) After Mussolini attacked Abyssinia in 1935, the.
League discussed the imposition of sanctions, to strangle
the Fascist aggression. The countries which voted against
any real penalty being inflicted on Fascist Italy were mainly
Catholic, the most prominent of which were the Latin
American nations. (Naturally, the weight of political,
military, and strategical considerations, especially on the
part of Great Britain another great power inside the
League with a host of satellite countries whom she could
influence to vote for or against any policy, as it might suit
her interest was one of the major factors in the issue.)
    (3) During
                 the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the
Vatican's interference in the domestic affairs of Spain, and
in the international issues deriving therefrom, within as
well as outside the League, became so obvious that no one
even attempted to deny it. ^ The Pope himself repeatedly
asked nations and individuals to save Spain from
Bolshevism by destroying the Republic and by helping the
Catholic rebel Franco through diplomatic, monetary,
economic, and military means.
   This call, strangely enough, was answered not only
by thousands of Catholic volunteers who joined Franco ;
not only by Latin American countries who saw that when-
                            LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                     ..   21

      ever the League attempted to intervene all its efforts to
vi help      the legal Spanish Government would miscarry, but
     -also by those two dictators with whom the Vatican had
      made a tacit alliance namely, Mussolini and Hitler.*
    %     This indirect interference of the Vatican in the decisions
    "and policies of an international body like the League of
      Nations, and the influence it could exercise in Catholic
      countries and especially in Lathi America, were duly
      noted in_ the United States which gradually, if slowly,
;   _ began to consider whether, after all, it was not worth
      while to come to an understanding with Rome, particularly
    . as it wished to further its Pan- American scheme and Good
      Neighbour policy.        This policy could be seriously
      hampered if the Catholic Church chose to take a hostile
      attitude to it or to other American policies.

             THE COMMON POLICY OF THE               VATICAN AND THE U.S.A.
             During and after the Abyssinian ami Spanish Wars,
         these considerations became even more important, owing
         to the threatening behaviour of Hitler.         The steady
         deterioration of the international situation made it vital
         for the U.S.A. to complete its scheme of sealing off the
         American continent from possible attack, at the same
         time consolidating it, so that if the worst -came it might
        -display to the world a continental solidarity.
          j THe Vatican, believing that the U.S.A. would eventually
         .come to some kind of understanding with it, had several
         plans of its own which fitted neatly within the framework
         of the American policy. These could be summarized as
        "follows :
             (1) The consolidation of Catholicism in the United
         States. With a membership of over 22,000,000 the Catholic
         Church had such a great influence in political and social
         affairs that every American President or Administration
          had to give considerable thought to the "Catholic Vote" ;t
    *         --"   '.''
                 * For further
                               particulars about the Vatican's intervention in Spain,
            see Spain and the Vatican in this series. For the Vatican's support of
            Fascism^ and Nazism see The Catholic Church Against the -Twentieth
    X   '
            Century (Watts).
                ~f For further details of the importance of the Catholic .vote in

            American elections see the author's The Vatican and the U.S. A. in this

   (2) the linking up of North and South American
Catholicism by means of a closer understanding and*,
association between the United States and Latin America   ;

   (3) the formation of a mighty American bloc the

general policy of which, towards dangerous revolutionary^
ideologies (i.e., Bolshevism and its political embodiment, -i
Soviet Russia), should conform and run parallel to that of
the Catholic Church, whose key-stone, ever since the first
world war, had been her enmity towards Socialism.


   Roosevelt's assumption of power paved the way for
allthese plans. From the beginning, as already indicated,
one of the most cherished of his policies was the creation
of a compact Pan-American bloc, comprising North,
Central, and South American peoples.        Agreed on a
continental policy directed towards safeguarding the
general security of all the American nations, they would
present a common front to non-American Powers. Whether
Roosevelt set himself the task of strengthening the moral
position of the U.S.A. as leader of the Americas, or
whether he was actuated by a genuine desire to unite the
American nations for their common benefit, is immaterial.
What, is important is that, in carrying out this policy,
President Roosevelt, better than anyone else, realized that
the friendship of the Vatican was essential if he were to
rally the Central and South American countries to his
        success of his Good Neighbour policy depended
upon  the amount of support he could get from the Pope,
who realized that the time was propitious and that the
right man had at laslS arrived.    Accordingly he sent his
Secretary of State, Cardinal Pacelli, on a triumphant tour    .,-

of Latin America (1936).
   The Vatican's representative was greeted with enthusiasm
in all the Latin American Countries he visited.        The
reception given to him not only by the Church but what,*'
was more significant- by the various Governments, some

of which sent their complete Cabinets to welcome or to
              LATIN AMERICA AND    THE VATICAN            23

bid farewell to the Cardinal, was duly brought    home   just
where the Vatican 'wished    to be namely in Washington.
   The spectacular tour of the Cardinal in South America
had been well timed for another no less important reason
namely, it was undertaken just after the Spanish Civil War
broke out. The Catholic Church openly sided with General
Franco and' launched a crusade against World Bolshevism.
The full meaning of this was perfectly understood in the
White House, which entertained the same Red phobia as
the Vatican. Unlike the latter, however, it tried to keep
it within bounds so as not to aggravate even more the

troubled international situation and chronically suspicious
Soviet Russia.


   The   results of the anti-Red
                                  Crusade launched by the
Pope were soon      to   be   seen in the Americas and,
significantly enough, in those countries where Cardinal
Pacelli had had such a ''royal" welcome.           After his
departure from these countries, the immediate effect was
a visible strengthening of authoritarianism.        Catholic
Fascist Movements based on the Italian model emerged,
and Catholic religious and lay advocates of the Corporate
State became extremely vociferous.         An unparalleled
campaign against the .common enemy of civilization and
religionthe Socialist ideology in its various forms was
launched throughout the Americas, including the United
States, which was soon flooded by atrocity stories put out
by the powerful American Catholic Press.
   .This, it should be remembered, was the heyday of the
promotion of Fascist-Catholic authoritarianism which
seemed destined to characterize the century. For it must
not be forgotten that the Vatican at that time was pursuing
a policy of establishing authoritarianism wherever it could,
especially in countries where the majority of the population
was Catholic. This policy not only covered Europe but
extended to the American continent, and naturally included
Central and South America.
    Roosevelt, although in disagreement with the Catholic
Church's support of this tendency, closed an eye to it
24               LATIN AMERICA AND         THE VATICAN

provided he could obtain the Vatican's co-operation in
persuading Latin America to favour his Good Neighbours
policy.  This was thoroughly discussed when the Papal
delegate, Pacelli, having demonstrated the might of the
Vatican's power in Latin America, visited the States during ^
the latter part of his tour.  After a whirlwind journey
to the chief Catholic towns, Pacelli stayed at President
Roosevelt's home as his personal guest, where the two
men had ample opportunity to examine and reach
complete accord on the whole problem.
   First a broad understanding was teached that the
Vatican should co-operate with the U.S.A. in establishing
a great continental bloc composed of all the Americas,
while the U.S.A. should pursue a policy in harmony with
the anti-Red plan of the Vatican. Several other points of
more immediate           interest   were   also   settlednamely, that              .   '_

the American Catholics would support Roosevelt by voting.,,
for him again; that the Catholic hierarchy would continue
to support the Roosevelt administration; that, in return,
Roosevelt would see that the Spanish Republic should be
deprived of necessary armaments (as in fact it was),* and
further that the U.S.A. would do everything possible to
re-establish diplomatic relations with Rome.          These
agreements both partners duly honoured in the years which
followed.                                                                          '

   At the end of the same-.year (1936) an inter- American
Conference for the maintenance of peace was held in the
capital of the leading Latin American country, Argentina. 1
President Roosevelt himself attended the conference and
initiated a new phase in his country's relations with South
America. The aim of the conference, in the words of Mr.
Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State, was not only to
maintain peace and "to make possible common action in
the event that peace might be threatened," but, significantly 1
enough, also "to prevent the rising tide of anarchy from;;:
invading this hemisphere."
   This, it should be noted, was said at a time                  when the
Pope was       calling   on   all   Christians to eradicate the     "Red
Plague" throughout the world.                                             .            -i

     * For further details see the author's   The Vatican and   the   US.A.   in
this series.
                  LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                    25

                 LATIN AMERICA IN     WORLD WAR       II

^     The policy of Roosevelt towards Latin America, the
  renewed energy of the Vatican in that continent, the co-
  operation between the Vatican and the White House, all
* began to yield fruit. Latin America had in the past
  participated in Pan- American conferences concerned mainly
  with political, territorial, and financial security against
  foreigners in general and against the U.S.A. in particular.
  Its mood now changed to such an extent that as soon as
  war broke out in Europe all the_ American Republics met
  at Panama. (September 23, 1939) to formulate a common
  policy which they were to adopt towards the political and
  economic changes that confronted them.
      While the Western Hemisphere kept out of the war
  everything went well as far as the relationship beween the
  Vatican and Washington was concerned, except when the
  latter showed too much inclination to help the Allies. At
  these times the Vatican was quick to remind Roosevelt of
  its \power, not only in Latin America but also in the
  United States.


         Long before the outbreak of war Latin America, and
     indeed practically the whole Catholic Church in the Western
     Hemisphere, including the U.S. Catholics, were openly
; -
     sympathetic towards both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany,
     condemning those regimes only when they quarrelled
    with the Vatican. This sympathy with European Fascism
     went so far that on more than one occasion Latin American
     political personalities publicly boasted of their wish for
  --a Fascist Europe and world, stating, after the war broke
 ;   out, that their hopes lay in a Nazi victory.
        -Such an attitude was, to say the least, a little too friendly
     towards an ideology which, in spite of its many points of
    contact with the political outlook of Latin America, was
    fundamentally alien to the New World.
         But that such an instant and direct sympathy with
I European Fascism should be found in a large section of
   "the. U.S. public was very significant and illuminating,
     especially in view of the fact that the most vociferous
26                    LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN

groups supporting authoritarianism were Catholic. These,
in close alliance with* the extreme Isolationists and super-                                    :
nationalists,         did   allpower to see that America
                                      in their
should not hamper the march of either Fascist Italy or
Nazi Germany, but that, on the contrary, if it had to
rearm it should do so in order to fight the enemy of the                                      *''

Catholic Church and of civilization namely, Soviet Russia.
   This was the main theme of both Latin and North
American Catholics, and it was their main theme simply^
because they reflected the mind of the Catholic Church.                                   ~

Naturally, in both South and North America there existed
powerful forces having nothing to do with religion

sponsoring the same policy. Nevertheless, the fact that
the Catholics were the chief promoters of this tendency
should not be overlooked.
     The   following are                  some   typical Catholic utterances of
that time     :

        The Jesuit magazine America, on July 19, 1940,
     declared "Is it the fixed purpose of the President
                  :                                                          .   .    .

     to bring this country into an undeclared war against
     Germany and Italy? As the Archbishop of Cincinnati
     has said, we have no moral justification for making war
     against nations ,.  It is no part of our duty to prepare
                                  .   .

     armaments to t>e used in England's aid."
        The centre of Catholic isolationism was Father
     Coughlin, who, talking about Nazi Germany, stated                               :

     "Perhaps nothing is greater proof of the rottenness                                      s-
     of the 'empire system' than that one single unified,
     clean-living people, fired by an ideal to liberate the
     world once and for all from an orientalist gold-debt
     slave system of finance, can march tireless over nation
     after nation, and bring two great empires to their
         He even went further, and in Social Justice declared:
     "Great Britain is doomed and should be doomed. There                                      T
     is no danger of Hitler threatening the U.S.   We should                                    '

     build armaments for the purpose of crushing Soviet
     Russia, in co-operation with the Christian Totalitarian
     States Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal." (Quoted                                 ,   f
     by League         of   Human Rights            Bulletin, Cleveland,   Ohio,
    -,       1                       ^*I

                 LATIN AMERICA AND   THE VATICAN               27

,i     This, in a nutshell, was the main purpose of American
-isolationism whether of the North or South American
   brand as supported by Catholic extremists. The American
   hierarchy, at a time when Hitler was marching from one
^military success to another, raised the slogan        : "Leave

   Europe to God," a slogan which was shouted with ever-
   greater enthusiasm after Hitler at last attacked Soviet
   Russia (June, 1941).
       Catholics all over the Continent, and above all in the
   U.S.A., were overjoyed by the news of this attack and
   were firmly opposed to any voice which was raised or
    any move made to help the Allies.          When Roosevelt
   continued to manoeuvre in order to help England (and
 ttfius Soviet Russia), the Catholics to the man turned against
V-him ; indeed, they went so far that some of their spokesmen
    (such as Mgr. Duffy of Buffalo) declared that if the United
   States should ever become an ally of Soviet Russia they
   would publicly ask Catholic soldiers to refuse to fight.
       In the U.S.A. this sort of isolationism was silenced by
   Pearl Harbour in December, 1941, but in Latin America
   it persisted almost throughout the war.       This notwith-
   standing the fact that the attack on the U.S.A. was followed
   by a spontaneous manifestation of Continental solidarity
   and that within a comparatively short- period nine
   Republics had declared war on Japan. By May, 1942, ten
,  Republics, among whom were the five Central American
   ^countries of Panama, Cuba, the Dominican Republic,
   Haiti/and Mexico, had declared war on the Axis, while
   the~ others, with the exceptions of- Argentina and Chile,
   had severed relations .with, the aggressor Powers.
       For a time the friendship between America and the
   Vatican became very strained, the latter feeling, profoundly
   ^displeased that the U.S.A. should have employed its
^influence in persuading so many Latin American countries
  ;f(6 side with the Allies.   Such a move was diametrically
   opposed to the grand policy the Church was then pursuing

   in Europe.
         ^               -

  ;    When the Fascist and Nazi dictatorship began to have
r serious setbacks those Latin American countries which still
    resented the Anglo-American partnership with Russia
    quickly fell into line with Roosevelt's policy, and by the
    spring of 1945, almost all had come into the war.

   This gradual change of heart was due not only to a
natural desire to side with the winning Powers, but was^
largely determined by direct pressure /from the Vatican.
Realizing in what direction the wind blew and having
reorientated its policy to the new situation, the Vatican^
saw to it that the Latin American countries should .take
such steps that their bargaining power, with a victorious
U.S.A. would not be      lost.            )                  -

     The key-stone of the Vatican's policy, however, did
not change that is, its hostility towards Soviet Russia,
whom it continued to regard as Enemy No. 1, not only
of the Catholic Church, but also of Europe, of the U.S.A.,
and all the Americas. When it was certain that the- Fascist
building was doomed, the Church made a bid for time, in
the sure knowledge that the rift between America and
Soviet Russia would inevitably widen with the coming of
peace.   It bore without flinching the crumbling of the
pro-Fascist policy it had pursued between the two world
wars, confident that sooner or later both North and South
America would become its partners in the fight against
Soviet Russia and world Bolshevism.


     But, while the   armed might of the Allied armies was
steadily   and   finally crushing the Axis,the Vatican was
already laying down its plans for a post-war counter-
offensive.  By 1946, only a year after the conclusion of
the second world war, Fascism, sponsored chiefly by the
Catholic Church, had already raised its head in many
countries, disguised in 'the form of peaceful democratic
movements. These, however, did not deceive any careful
observer as to their tactics and ultimate aims..
   As far as Latin America is "concerned, the Vatican, even
before the end of the war, had taken important steps to
ensure the come-back of Right-wing totalitarianism in that
continent.    Several Latin American Republics were
already nursing movements which had all the semblance
of the pre-war Fascist Movements ; and non-religious

elements were elbowing their way to the political platform
in order to be ready when the right time and opportunity

                   LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN         29

should occur.    Such movements, with one or two
exceptions, were powerfully supported by the Catholic
   In the Argentine, for instance, ominous symptoms of
the revival of the momentarily defeated Catholic Fascism
were to be found in abundance immediately before and
after the second world war.  Under the administration of
Dr. Olmedo (a great Catholic and Director of Education),
the religious, political, and racial discriminations charac-
teristic of totalitarianism were in evidence again when
orders were issued that Protestant, Liberal, and Jewish
teachers should be tacitly dropped from State schools. In
1944 Catholic teaching was made obligatory in all primary
and secondary schools, and 182 teachers who dared to
excuse themselves from teaching religion were promptly
dismissed. After the war numerous priests renewed their
                  sponsoring totalitarianism, and making
political activities
more or     less   open        democracy. Among these
                          attacks' against
was Father Sepich, .who declared      "We do not want

elections ...we want Government."

        .                          MEXICO
   But the most illuminating counter-attack launched by
the Vatican was in Mexico itself.      It is here that the
Catholic Church has made ominous progress during and
since the second world war with a movement the structure
and aims of which, are fundamentally of the Catholic-
totalitarian nature so typical of Fascism between the two
   The preparatory moves were made as far back as 1936
after Cardinal Pacelli's visit to Latin America, to ^which
we have already referred. The movement came into the
open in 1937, under the name of La Union Nacional
Sinarquista, later called Sinarquism. It was a mixture of
Catholic dictatorship on the model of Franco's, of Fascism,
Nazism,, and the Ku-Klux-Klan. It had a sixteen-point
plan.  "It openly declared war on democracy and all other
enemies of the Catholic Church, and had as its main object
the restoration of the Catholic Church to its former power.
   Its members were mostly devout Catholics, and it was
30                 LATIN AMERICA AND           THE VATICAN

soon recognized as "the most dangerous Fascist movement
in Latin America." Even U.S. Catholic papers declared
that "if Sinarquism succeeded in its purpose of- increasing
its numbers considerably, there is real danger of civil war."
(See     The Commonweal and Catholic Herald, August 4,
1944.)     By 1944 it was reckoned that it had between
1,000,000   and 1,500,000 members, while by 1946, a year/
after the defeat ofGermany, its power had greatly increased
and its hostility towards democracy and Socialism had
come out into the open more clearly than ever before.
Priests, bishops, and archbishops were not only supporting
it, but^ becoming active members, exercising their influence
to enlist Catholics in the rank and file of the Party.                       ,

                         THE   VATICAN AND FRANCO

    But, in addition to nursing and encouraging IpcaK
totalitarian currents, with the dawn of peace the Vatican
put its trust in another powerful^instrurrient for spreading
totalitarianism in Latin America namely, the racial,
cultural, and political influence of Catholic Spain, the only
surviving Fascist State in Europe.                    \*
   This instrument, which had been prepared by Franco
at the very beginning of the second world war, was forged
not only by the Spanish Dictator, but also by the Spanish
Church, with the active help of the Vatican.
   These preparations would be useful whatever the out-
come of the war. If Nazism won they would have -been
very useful in hastening Fascism in the Spanish-speaking
countries; if it lost, then they would become even more
valuable for maintaining a link with and encouraging
Latin American Catholic Fascism.
   These preparations, by the way, were an integral part
of Hitler's plan which aimed at the creation of a Latin-
Eurppean-Latin- American bloc under the segis of a

Nazified -France a plan which, with the fall of Hitler,
was handed over to Catholic Franco, who, incidentally,
was one of its most enthusiastic supporters from the very
beginning.*                                        .

   The activities of Franco and the Vatican, begun during
     *   For   further   details   see   The   Catholic   Church   Against       the
Twentieth Century (Watts).
                      LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                   31

        the second world war, were given great impetus with the
        coming of peace and were mainly directed to co-ordinating
        aH the remaining Nazi-Fascist movements into one broad
        movement sponsoring Catholic totalitarianism throughout
  Latin America.
    - This work was
    T                  carried out, mainly through Franco's
"Fatange Exterior and its various diplomatic and cultural
'organizations in America, another of whose tasks was that
  of linking the Spanish Falange with the Portuguese Legiao
  in; ihe Iberian peninsula.     The Falange in Cuba, for
  instance, was linked up with Mexican Sinarquismo and
 "closely connected with the various coups d'etat which in
  Argentina, and then in Brazil, followed the end of the
  second world war.
      In the last named country, President Vargas was thrown
  out of office by General-Goes Monteiro, who during the
 war was so openly pro-German and so keen a supporter
  of Fascism that when Brazil finally joined the Allies he had
  to "resign" from the post of Commander-in-Chief of the
        Brazilian   Army.
           To show how      the Vatican was behind this trend in
        Brazil, as well as in various other countries, suffice   it   to
        say that it went so far as to excommunicate one of its   own
        bishops, Carlos Duarte.
     2 "l was excommunicated,"       said the Bishop, "for my
  exposure of the Hispanidad movement in the Brazilian
  See and in other American countries. Hispanidad is the
  Falange in action. In the organization were representatives
  of the Spanish and Portuguese, Fascist Parties, the Legiao
  and the Falange. The leader of the organization in Brazil
-;was Ramon Cuesta, the Spanish Ambassador, who
; directed all Falangist activities in South America from Rio
  de Janeiro. Guesta maintained contact with the whole of
  America, organizing a movement aimed at the creation of
 -Franco's Iberian 'Empire/ Political Imperialism is trying
  to survive in the Americas under the leadership of the
  Vatican and Generalissimo Franco." Mgr. Duarte Costa,
/Rio de Janeiro, July 1945.)
     .By 1946 South American Fascism had control of a
  string of seven important and a dozen minor newspapers
  in Havana, Bogota, Quito, Mexico, Santiago, Caracas,
  Panama, and other centres.

    As in Europe and in the U.S. A:, the Vatican entered            .

the post-war world with a grand strategical plan with which         '&
it hoped, not. only to retain but to further its spiritual and

political dominion throughout Central and South America.
The fact that it was able to begin the initial moves with               ~>\
such assurance, even before the end of the war, demon-                  ,V

strates beyond doubt not only the immense pertinacity and
vitality of the ^Catholic Church, but also, and above all,
its determination to resume in earnest its task of re-

organizing Catholic authoritarianism in the Western
     Whether     it   will succeed or not,   only time will show.

       extent to which the Vatican can influence Latin
America is the,, outcome of the power which an over-
whelming religious authority can exercise on ethical, social,
and  political affairs in modern society. This is particularly           .

true of this group of countries where it has ruled arid is
to a very great extent. still ruling virtually unchallenged. It
must be remembered that the whole continent is still        ^

pervaded from top to bottom by the spirit and ethical ideas
of the Catholic Church. Except for a small minority every
member of a Latin-American Republic is born, is nurtured,
and dies in an atmosphere of Catholicism. Even those
who do not practise the religion cannot escape the effects
of a society in which the Church permeates all its economic,
political, social, and cultural classes.
    Whether the widespread illiteracy which still pervades
Latin America is. due mainly to the Catholic Church or-
to other causes we cannot tell.         But in South America
there is more illiteracy than in any other land inhabited
by a white race. To quote only a few figures, in 1939
Europe and the U.S.S.R., which, still had enormous back-
Ward areas, had about 8 per cent illiteracy. Japan, which A
less than a century before had been one of the most
illiterate countries, by 1935 had the lowest percentage of -
illiteracy in the whole world      namely, less than 1 per cent.
In contrast to this, its neighbours, the Philippines, where
Catholicism had been dominant for centuries, still had 35
per cent illiteracy, while Mexico, one. of the most pro-
               LATIN AMERICA AND    THE VATICAN              33

  gressive Latin-American countries, had to cope with 45
.jjper cent illiteracy, in spite of the enormous efforts of her
.Governments. .Brazil had more than 60 per cent, coming
"third in illiteracy to the Netherland East Indies, with 97
_per cent, and British India with 90 per cent.
-     In this state of affairs- the Church is allied with those
  elements of a social and^economic nature whose interest
  it is to maintain the status quo as long as possible    or, at
  least, with as little change as possible.  Such elements are
  perfectly aware that their rule is essentially dependent on
  the maintenance -of an illiterate and ignorant populace,
  which can be very easily dominated by both spiritual and
  secular powers whose main object is but the attainment
  of their own particular sectional aims. Hence the centuries-
  old alliance between Church and big landowners or
 business magnates,   who   in Latin   America perhaps more
 than anywhere else are   stillthe paramount factors shaping
 the destiny of that continent.
     In Latin America religion in this case the Catholic
 Church 'has been one of the most disturbing factors, and
 is still a predominant force influencing all strata of society,
 not only in the most backward regions but also in the
most economically and culturally advanced countries, such
as Brazil and Argentina.
   In the Blatter 'in 1946 literacy was the highest in Latin
America, owing chiefly to the liberal forces which since the
:opening of the century have fought bravely against the
 Catholic Church's hold. In 1900, for instance, fully half
 the population of that country was still illiterate. This
 was reduced at the rate of about 1 per cent per year until
 1914, in which year between 35 and 45 per cent were still
 illiterate; by 1930 this had been reduced to 25 per cent;
 and by the end of the second world war to about 18 per
    This is undoubtedly remarkable progress, and one
    uld expect that with the advance of literacy and culture
 the most characteristic feature of the Catholic Church's
-predominance in the life of the country concerned would
 Automatically diminish. But that is not the case, as is
xlemonstrated by innumerable examples, one of the most
 illuniinating being the instance, just before the end of the
 second world war, when the Virgin Mary was solemnly
34               LATIN
made an honorary General            of -the Argejtitin|
a regular salary (labelled ''vivaticum" and aS
from   ,the public treasury) of ten dollars- a                           -

collected by the Church.* This, it must foe
was not in a country where great sections of                         ;

formed of backward negroes or Indians,: but, in
made up almost entirely of European peoples"
statistics betwen 1857 and 1913 indicate that of t^ 4iS
registered immigrants, almost exactly 50 per cent
Italians, 31 per cent Spaniards, 5 per cent
per cent Europeans of other nationalities).        -
     How   far the Catholic Church has been responsible
the comparatively slow economic progress made b
America is extremely difficult to assess. The last                                       ,

years,    however, have seen an enormous develpp
the economic resources of the continent owing
adoption of modern methods and mechanization^ ^
the dynamic influence of the U.S.A., as well as
greater demands of an impoverished and
(In 1929, if the purchasing power of a citizen of the i
were placed at 100, that of an Argentinian would have
only 32, and this figure would have been higher than
for any other Latin country, the figure for .the
being less than 5. G. J. Ede.)
   To-day, although^ in comparison with
States, Latin America is still in a rather
economically, the strides that it is making in the
ment    of its lands, mines, forests, and
gigantic.  In consequence, with the further growth
economic and financial strength, its political stature                           "

world^s?ill be further enhanced.        ^

   What will this mean from the point of view^^o
Vatican, tirelessly spinning its world-wide weh;in ;spiriiu;|f|;g

social, diplomatic, and political fields, never losing||j^
opportunity to influence men, nations, and even <;ontineEit|
in order to foster its religious hold upon twentieth
                                             ''          '

                                                 -"          :   ~

society?                                 .


     *   When  talking to an Argentine friend about this, he ren
that, as the Virgin Mary to the average good Catholic is not a
real personage, the act of conferring upon-her the title of
no more nor less worthy of mirth than that of the English
Queen a Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
                                     -                '"'            :

                                  LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN                35

       As Latin America grows in economic and political
    power, the hold of the Vatican in world politics will grow

^with it. This will beLatin American continuing to exert its
                         achieved by (a)
*Wt influence over the
                                          peoples and Gpvern-
    ments, it will shape their social life and determine their
 ^domestic political policies; (b) by using. its power yisrfl-vis
    foreign countries', to influence international and world

                 If   is   from  point of view that Latin America has
             become           an important factor and is becoming
             increasingly so, not only in American but also in European
             and, indeed, world politics.
       While realizing this^one must remember the role that
   the Vatican has played in Europe between the two world
   wars, its efforts to help secular reactionary forces to shape
  "the European continent on the foundations of a Fascist-
   Nazi ideology, its relentless enmity to the progressive
   forces of our century, the war it has waged and goes on
   waging against Socialism, the plans it has already started
   to put into execution with the collapse of Fascism in
   Europe, and its ultimate aims in spiritual and political
   fields.  Then the importance of the growing weight of a
   Catholic Latin America will clearly emerge from the
   blurred picture of international politics and will be seen
   in a light which should help everyone to realize what a
   tremendous political power the Vatican still is in the
 _ middle of ''the twentieth century.

       The Catholic Church has already made gigantic steps
   towards conquering the American continent and is hasten-
   ing the tempo of its activities to amalgamate North and
             South American Catholicism (this in close alliance with

             powerful economic and political forces).* Once the Western
  Hemisphere has been cemented into a solid Catholic bloc,
  the Church, backed by the wealth and political dominion
  of Ahe
          American peoples, will be ready for a counter-
_ attack on those social currents and nations which have
  compelled it to retreat from its leading role in the life of
.,many other peoples.
V        ,

V            .
              * For further details about the Vatican's
                                                        long-range plan to conquer
         the- whole of the American Continent for Catholicism see The Catholic
         Church Against the Twentieth Century, by the same author (Watts).

   How soon will the Church do   it?   To   give an answer
would be mere guesswork.
   In the meantime, the Vatican goes on with its work
consolidating itself in the New World, a great part of
which Latin America continues to be its powerful
undisputed domain.
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